On July 15th I witnessed an experience that if I am correct, is a sort of a myth for most Colombians: to see U2 in a live concert in one of their world tours.
The closest we have been to that was when in times of a Mayor who’s not worth mentioning, rumor has it that they were going to be in Bogotá for their Latin-American tour but that the Great Governor didn’t lend them the city stadium for the show of perhaps the greatest band these days (The Beatles and Pink Floyd are gone).
He considered that the concert would damaged the field and when his favorite soccer team was going to play, they were not going to find it in optimal conditions.
The truth of the matter
Truth be told, it is worthless to talk about this matters. Experts in the topic say that it was not real and that the band never considered Colombia as a stop on that tour. Any how we were used to that the greatest groups never came to Colombia for different reasons and it was resent that they started to considered us as an interest destiny, but the Irish band never considered Colombia, so far.
I ended up embarking on this gorgeous adventure that I wasn’t able to dimension at all until I was living it for real, and that I must confess that I call myself an ignorant for not realizing its greatness before – I definitely can say after having experienced it that is one of the biggest days of my whole life- because I have a music lover boyfriend who also dies and lives for U2 and planned a trip to Boston in order to see them 4 straight night in a row and as such completing his 10th U2 show in his life.
He was so proud and joyful telling everyone around that it was his eight concert but that pride of his banished when his neighbor told him that this was his 73 time. I couldn’t stop thinking “he’s really nuts to watch them for the tenth time and invest his time in Boston for 4 consequent nights”. Everyone asked him if the setlist (another term that I learned from him) was different from one night to an other and he answered them that they barely changed 1 or two songs and I kept believing that definitely each person has it’s own craziness.
Finally, once we arrived we found tickets for me, only for the last night because his tickets were bought months before. I can’t deny I was thrilled but I never imagined not even for a long shot, the night that I was about to have and how I would be not only liking the live concert after it but also desiring to go the other three nights as well.
U2 is not indifferent for people, it is a great band but also they are famous because all they have done. Their songs have been true hymns around the world for decades, soon there are going to be four whole generations of young people, amongst them our generation, of course, that have been growing with their tunes. Our lives soundtrack has been brightened up at some point by one or many of their songs. Their lyrics seem to fit perfect in thousands of people experiences around the world and for many other reasons.
Nevertheless there is also that legendary figure that made U2, that man that we all know some or lots about: a show man that has been really far away from all types of media scandals, from drugs and other grim scenarios that are common among the famous ones.
He’s always keen to help people, to fight for the disadvantaged and for forgotten causes, the one who has written and dedicated songs, money and all kind of resources to those causes who are usually ignored: AIDS, Africa, terrorism, poverty, among other noble causes.
As a Rock star I have two instincts: I want to have fun, and I want to change the world. I have a chance to do both.
– Bono –
It’s impossible not wanting to see Bono even though a stage with more than 20.000 people is between him and me when famous figures from all kinds and conditions around the globe reverence him for who he is. What he has done and what he means (he has been nominated for a Nobel prize of peace twice) and when for example he was the guest artist for the last good-bye on this planet to Mandela and he was also invited to welcome in his government to the first Afro-American President from the country that leads the world parade.
All these is great, huge, magnanimous and splendid but if we consider the band as it is, a music group, and the music as it should be, a state of art, that they became famous for their humanitarian work makes them loose importance in a certain way.
In my personal opinion, the art’s main reason is that it should be able to transport us, the spectators, to other realities and propose us new worlds letting us travel trough our imagination, to different worlds from the one that we live in.
Perhaps this was an other great and pleasant surprise about the concert, or at least it was for me, the show is really an artistic performance by all means, during the three hours of it we are guided through different magic and mind blowing realities. There’s always a perfect song and the according lyrics to each one of the realities they create for us.
They also show us a carefully planned set and all the necessary stuff for making us forget that we are on a stadium watching a common show that it´s also going to come to an end and we will return home to the same old daily boring routine.
They began the show reminding us all that we are in Boston and all the public got really crazy when the BostonStrong hashtag shone on the big screens, that is the slogan for the advertising campaign that arose as a response to Boston’s slaughter in 2013. All of this, in a country and a world where those who were bullied in their childhood simply tried to get even by shooting a gun attacking innocent people later in their adulthood.
For an instance, as someone from the public that Bono randomly got into the stage said, we were all Boston and we were all from Boston. They transported us this way, to a total state of sympathy and union with other’s pain, but soon they realized that the massive energy wasn’t the euphoric energy that should reign a concert and they made a quick twist through a legendary Rock and Roll show. A frantic and partying performance and we landed in that U2 that we all danced in discos some time.
After that we went through a nostalgic tour through Bono’s childhood and we watched him closely while he sang I will follow and Iris, a song dedicated to his mother. Meanwhile he was inside the LED screen that crossed the stage, walking by his childhood streets, by Cedarwood Road, the neighborhood in which he grew and coming inside the house that according to him testified the beginning of all this that now days is called U2.
The concert goes on and they hit us with a batch of all their classics, one after another: Stuck in a moment, Beautiful Day, With or without you, Where the streets have no name, among others.
They were showing that they belong to their public, with a crazy drive for their profession, with out any will to leave and complaining about ordinary matters such as they were not admitted in a Bar the night before because The Edge didn’t have an ID with him.
How it came to and end
Finally, they took us smoothly through the reality in which we choose to live, through the last one of the stages and proposed realities that they had for us.
A heartfelt protest through actual situation and the disrepair of the world in which we live: the war, the violence, the terrorism, AIDS, and poverty and once again we were all a single one, struggling like Bono, for our kids to have a better and sustainable world while the band sang again One and we all got to dream and to think that certainly it was an option.
The night was over, although for moments we thought it was going to last forever, but we went out happy and with a full accomplishment of our aims, meanwhile I had to recognize to my boyfriend that the 73 concerts of his neighbor didn´t seem exaggerated and that id he was planning to call it a tie, he definitely could count on me as his squire. Really, going to see U2 was much more than I expected and much more than most of the experiences I have had in all my life.